Daily Reformation, 2 Peter 1:1-4
From the Reformer
First, God has promised certainly His grace to the humbled: that is, to the self-deploring and despairing. But a man cannot be thoroughly humbled, until he comes to know that his salvation is utterly beyond his own powers, counsel, endeavours, will, and works, and absolutely depending on the will, counsel, pleasure, and work of another, that is, of God only. For if, as long as he has any persuasion that he can do even the least thing himself towards his own salvation, he retains a confidence in himself and does not utterly despair in himself, so long he is not humbled before God; but he proposes to himself some place, some time, or some work, whereby he may at length attain unto salvation. But he who hesitates not to depend wholly upon the good-will of God, he totally despairs in himself, chooses nothing for himself, but waits for God to work in him; and such an one, is the nearest unto grace, that he
might be saved.
—Martin Luther, The Bondage of Will
Pulling It Together
Picture yourself as hurtling through the air from a very high cliff. Gravity is eager to introduce you to your destination: the rocky earth below—and certain death. There is nothing you can do about it. No amount of effort, struggle, prayer, relaxation, or meditation will cause a different outcome than what presently awaits you. Had you the time, 40 days of fasting would not make you thin enough to float to the canyon floor. Scream for help! If anyone hears, there is nothing for them to do. You are all but done in and in a few seconds, it will be over. Face the fact: you cannot save yourself; you are going to die.
This is life. You are hurtling through it and nothing you can do will change the outcome that you are going to die. No amount of work or piety will change that fact. Thank God there is One who would change it for you. God calls you to life “by his own glory and virtue.”
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers